Welcome to term 3. This term we are going to start with a Scratch animation project. We will work on this over a few weeks so encourage your student not to rush through it, but to take their time, experiment, modify their design, even do multiple versions.
If you need a refresher on how to use Scratch Junior please revisit my earlier post which has been updated to include a link to install onto laptop or desktop computers (Mac or Windows):
Step 1 – Choose a Bible verse
Choose one that is not too long or use an abbreviated version of it. For example if you were to use the school scripture for this year Matthew 6:19-21 which is 3 sentences and quite long you might choose to just use:
Where you treasure is There your heart will be also
Or the middle section:
Store up for yourselves Treasures in heaven
It is of course up to you and the student. If you have lots of favourite verses then why stop at just one. Maybe parents would like to do one too.
Step 2 – Make a plan
Scratch Junior allows you to create up to 4 pages per project. Each page can have its own background and set of characters. You can actually put lots of words onto a single page by making them appear and disappear, but it might be easier to use separate pages if you have lots of words in your selected Bible passage.
For each page the student should imagine what they would like to do. This plan can and will change over time and that’s to be encouraged. They don’t really need to update the plan as they change their mind, but it’s often an interesting to observe how it changed and the differences between the initial plan and the final product.
|Page||Words appearing||Background, decorations & animation|
Step 3 – Start Scratching
Here are some tips to make this project a success. I will describe each tip below:
Make each word or line a separate character
Each character in scratch can be animated and changed separately. You could put the words of the verse on the background image, but that means they cannot be animated. It’s better to separate the background from the words as this gives you the most flexibility. The words don’t have to move, but if they are characters then you can always change your mind.
Use shapes, pictures to represent words
It’s actually a bit tricky to write words freehand especially with a mouse. On the iPad you can zoom in to try and make letters more precise – you can also try using a stylus if you have one. Don’t stress too much about the handwriting. Where you can use shapes or pictures. You can even use the rectangle, oval and triangle tool to create letters. You can also use the built-in Scratch characters and modify them to fit your needs.
Use code to add interest, fun and meaning
Scripture verses are full of symbols, stories and depth. The words can be animated to move, grow, appear and disappear, but you can of course add other characters that can be animated. A fish that jumps out of the water, a crab that scuttles across the sand, birds that fly across the sky, butterflies floating on the wind. You can use the camera tool to capture pictures within a shape. You can also use the microphone tool to record sounds (although that didn’t work on my macbook). You can use the timing bock to add delays between actions. In my example above, I might show page 1 with a few animations and then after 5 seconds change to page 2 with more animations.
This is a simple example and I’m sure students can make it much more interesting. Here’s my first draft…